Friday, December 31, 2010

#223 Targets (1968)


Director: Peter Bogdanovich

Cast: Tim O'Kelly, Boris Karloff, Arthur Peterson, Monte Landis, Nancy Hsueh, Peter Bogdanvich, Daniel Ades, Stafford Morgan, James Brown, Mary Jackson, Tanya Morgan

So the alleged story is as follows: Producer Roger Corman realized that under contract, Boris Karloff owed him two more full days of filming. He took 20 minutes of unused footage from the film The Terror and sent Karloff over to director Bogdanovich. The result is this short, horror crime film in which Karloff essentially stars as himself, a retiring old horror film actor who simply feels that he has become an anachronism. He states, "My kind of horror isn't horror anymore," as he waves a murder report in the newspaper.

This story is also cut with shots of boy-next-door Bobby Thompson, a young hunter who lives with his picture perfect family of his wife and two parents in suburbia. We watch as he prepares for a murdering spree: collecting guns, target practice, and lies. After killing his own family, he goes on a killing spree of complete strangers.

We expect, of course, that these two characters are going to cross paths, but when and how are indeed a surprise. A perfect commentary on the unstoppable movement toward a more violent America, in which we are all simply pawns. Faceless dots.

A remarkable reference could be made to Orson Welles in The Third Man (1949)-- how much do we care about these faceless, nameless dots? Looking forward to exploring that comparison.

No comments:

Post a Comment